After the cold of Rajasthan, we were pumped to hop on a plane and head south in India for some relaxing and beach time.
It was hard to admit but all traces of a tan that I had previously earned on my last set of adventures were gone.
I wanted my base back.
When we arrived in Goa, the warmth hit us and it was great! We headed out of the airport and jumped into a cab for the hour long drive to Candolim Beach. But the drive was anything but relaxing.
I had to admit, in addition to being over curry, I was definitely over the driving in India!
But when we arrived to Hotel Coquerial all frustrations melted. Our place was gorgeous! With a beautiful room, unbelievably comfy bed and a shower with hot water around the clock, we were excited to have arrived.
The next couple of days were filled with exploring the different beach areas and looking for good food!
We quickly discovered that were in the little Britian area of the beach with UK retirees as far as the eye could see. How long some of them had been there I could not figure out. Slathered in oil, many of them looked like they had spent their entire lives baking in the sun.
“It’s just not natural to look like that,” I kept saying to Kevin.
It was really quite frightening.
Candolim Beach, however, turned out to be quite central and very convenient. We started off the week hanging out in a couple of beach shacks in our area drinking Kingfisher beers and our new favourite, mojitos!
The sand was soft, the water was warm and the sun was strong! While it reminded me of so many other tropical destinations I had been to, I would have to say this is the first time I have walked down the beach and shared my path with cows.
I love it. I can not get enough of it!
As Kevin and I had hit our curry limit for the month, we seeked out a change in cuisine. We were beyond excited when we found an Italian restaurant down the road from us with outstanding reviews. We visited Tuscany Gardens three of the six nights that week! Everything was incredible!
The caprese salad, spaghetti bolognase, spaghetti and meatballs, meat lasagna, spinach and ricotta ravioli, pizza, wines and desert!
Not to mention, the owner noticed how much we were there. When I called, he asked “is this Tori?,” recognizing my North American accent and US phone number.
I mean, who wouldn’t love that?
After a couple of days in our area, we headed out to Ashvem Beach which was an hour drive north of Candolim Beach. It was also our guide Sukhi’s favourite beach and we quickly saw why!
Ashvem was a very relaxed area on the beach with limited crowds and calmer waters that were perfect for wading and cooling off. We grabbed a bite to eat at the beach and then drank mojitos by the water. It was best beach day the entire week!
Our last couple of days, we decided we needed some exercise. That, and the driving between the different areas of Goa was exhausting and took forever. Even if you needed to go only 15 km, it was easily 45 minutes.
In all the research I did, I kept reading to rent a scooter in Goa because it was so cheap and easy to get around. Sukhi had recommended the same thing.
Let’s just say, you could not have paid me to get on a scooter in Goa.
I believe my life, and Kevin’s, is worth more than any savings on cabs that we could have made in the week. Riding on a scooter in Thailand looked safe compared to the streets of India…
ANYWAY, the next couple of days we spent walking between the beaches. We walked south to Aguada Beach. While it was significantly less packed, the waves were pretty intense.
We then walked through Calangute and Baga Beach. These were much busier areas with beach shacks with much higher prices.
But, it did have cows!
At one of the places where we got beach beds, the lady serving us asked if we had just arrived. “No, we’ve been here for 5 days,” I replied.
“But you are so white!” she said back with a chuckle.
“I know…. It’s just my skin tone,” I replied feeling defeated. I so felt like I had been getting my base on the last couple of days. Although at night when I would point out my tan lines to Kevin in excitement, he would ask me to come closer because he could not see them.
Clearly, the rest of the world could not see them either.
Maybe, all the people wanting to take photographs with us on the beach were doing it because they had never seen someone so white before.
Kevin believed this theory to be true. For me, not for him.
So our last day at the beach, I really committed to some time in the sun. My only result was a sun burn. I am still hoping it will turn into a tan in the coming week.
Anyway, after a week in the sun and a few more places for food and drinks, our time in Goa had come to an end.
Overall, India was better than we could have ever expected! But after a month, we were ready to move on to our next adventure.
But first we had a week layover in Seoul, South Korea to rest up before breaking out our hiking shoes and loading into our rental van to explore the islands.
Oh and as you can tell, I never did get that tan.